Lismore quarry seeks to reduce community consultation

Champions Quarry. Photo

Champions Quarry. Photo

Chris Dobney

The department of planning and environment (DoPE) is calling for feedback on plans by Champions Quarry at Tuckurimba, near Lismore, to seek variations to its approval, including the number of community consultation meetings it is required to hold each year.

In 2012, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approved an increase in production for the quarry from 60,000 to 250,000 tonnes of rock per year.

It came despite a prior refusal by Lismore City Council and gave the quarry the right to excavate 50,000 tonnes more per year than the company had applied for.

The company now seeks to vary some of the conditions the PAC set out.

One of the more contentious issues is the reduction of community consultations from two to one per year. DoPE says this is as a result of a request from the committee members themselves.

The company is also seeking to avoid having to pave an internal road at the quarry, instead using water trucks to keep dust down and away from neighbouring properties.

Up to 100 truck movements a day are allowed in and out of the quarry, with 50 ‘laden truck’ movements permitted daily and up to five per hour.

Another controversial request by the company is to vary the boundaries of the biodiversity offset areas, which the company says is to ‘correct an error and reflect the actual boundaries’.

A fourth condition variation would permit the company to use scales fitted to the front end loaders to weigh materials loaded onto trucks as an economic alternative to installing a weighbridge.

A DoPE spokesperson said, ‘community consultation is an integral part of the planning process and the applicant will have to respond to the feedback we receive.

‘This feedback is taken into consideration when we develop our recommendations.

‘It’s easy to participate by going online and we encourage everyone to take a look and have their say,’ the spokesperson said.

To make a submission or view the modification request, visit the DoPe website.

Submissions can be made until Tuesday, March 15.

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